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Don’t make these mistakes when you meet the decision maker

One of the problems you will run into in a complex sales cycle is the introduction to a new decision maker. When you’re working in a sales process that has multiple layers, you’re always trying to influence the person in front of you for that next ‘yes’ or an introduction to the ultimate decision maker. When that introduction takes place, there’s two mistakes to avoid.

Don’t make assumptions

The first mistake is assuming the person you’re meeting knows everything about your business or your product. Many times we get this introduction to an officer that’s going to make a decision on the service offering that you’re presenting, whether it’s a CEO, CIO, CFO, COO etc. When you first meet with a c-suite person, it’s a perfect time to gain clarity. “Where are you at in the understanding of this process?” You need to ask for clarity. Make sure they understand exactly what has been laid out thus far.

Get an introduction

The second mistake when being introduced to a new decision maker is not having a proper introduction from the beginning. As you move up the ranks in a sales process, often the next decision maker is more powerful than your previous contact. And if that previous contact didn’t set up a correct introduction, the responsibility to introduce yourself correctly falls on you, the sales professional. It is your job to say who you are, what you represent and what you’re hoping to accomplish. You should even apologize for the lack of introduction that didn’t take place.

In long sales processes and long cycles, we often lose the deal because we don’t know how to handle the next person in the decision tree. Take a step back and realize they may not be well versed on everything that you are doing. As a matter of fact, the goals of the person that got you this meeting might not be aligned with the person who’s taking the meeting. So take the time to understand where they are coming from. Assumption always ends bad in sales. Assumption always seems bad in business. Don’t assume. Do your due diligence and gain clarity.

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